Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Misunderstood

When I was a junior in high school, my social studies class was History of the Americas. My teacher was Ms. A (not "Miss", not "Mrs."). She was petite with salt and pepper hair cut close to her head. All we really knew about her was that she loved cats. She started within our high school a chapter of Amnesty International. For class she made us read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

We thought she was a total nut job. It only took me 10 years to realize that she was actually quite enlightened. I hope that despite being misunderstood by her students, she kept trying.

7 comments:

greensunflower said...

You outta find her and tell her this. Everyone needs good feedback.

Runner Girl FL said...

I think I had the same American History teacher. She was like 5 foot nothin' little and had short hair little blonder but turning grey. She lived alone (not sure about cats). And her big claim to fame was that she had babysat Paul Rubin as a kid. aka Pee Wee Herman.

DearOldDad said...

I agree with Greensunflower. If you have the time to track her down, I'm sure she would be deeply touched by a note of thanks from a well respected (an liberal) member of our scientific community! :-)

e.b. said...

I just stumbled across that book again, after reading it in college. Quite impressive it was forced on you as a high-schooler. That is some good educating there.

brainhell said...

She sounds way cool, except for the liking cats part.

Hot4Teacha said...

You totally should send her a note, Nat. I can only hope that some of my students will someday realize that all the rambling I did had a purpose and a point. That is, if it did....hard to say.

When is your fine *ss gonna be in MN? Can't wait to see you guys!

gabrielle said...

It takes a lot of courage to take the less-traveled path. You get branded as a nutcase in your youth. Eventually, years and tenacity earn you the cover of the "eccentric" epithet. People generally give you a wide berth. I would imagine that Ms. A did what any true teacher would do--pass on to her students what she ardently believed to be of value. Her joy was in the giving. "Misunderstood" is a testament to her legacy. I recently learned of a certain seed that can lie in its dormant state for up to a century before yielding its fruit.